By John Heinis/Hudson County View
After Bhalla sent out a tweet celebrating a newly passed measure he introduced to the city council regarding a multi-path on the waterfront, Twitter user Robert Dubenezic – an open supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump – expressed shock that Bhalla was a councilman.
“How the hell did Hoboken allow the guys to be councilman? Shouldn’t even be allowed in the U.S. #terrorist,” he tweeted back.
Bhalla, who is Sikh, was quick to answer, exclaiming “Sir, I am born and raised in America. You clearly don’t know what it means to be American … #ignorant.”
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, a close friend and political ally of Bhalla, and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) were just a couple of many who spoke out in support of Bhalla.
“Hoboken stands w/Ravi & I have never been prouder than day we were elected as a team. Your hatred is reprehensible,” wrote Zimmer.
“In a world still full of ignorance and racism, I’m proud to see Americans like @RaviBjalla stand for what’s right,” Coleman chimed in.
Responding to dozens of other tweets in the aftermath, Dubenezic stood by his initial tweet, stating he had no intentions of apologizing and in one instance, when someone noted that his last name is not American, he retorted “no towel on my head.”
Bhalla was first elected to the council in 2009 and was re-elected in 2013. He is expected to seek a third term in next November.